From the monthly archives: "June 2017"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large moth
Location: Near Casares, Andalucia
June 1, 2017 4:14 am
I saw this moth on the trunk of a cork oak tree, 1st June 2017 at about 11:00 AM. Located in a heavily wooded valley and it’s quite large , I would estimate up to 45mm long. Any ID would be appreciated
Signature: Garth Nicholson

Sphinx Moth

Dear Garth,
The best we can provide at this time is a family identification.  This is a Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae.  We will attempt a species identification for you.

Dear Daniel,
Thanks very much – I hope you can find the species,
Garth Nicholson

Update:  Cesar Crash has identified this Sphinx Moth as Marumba quercus.  According to Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic, the habitat is:  “Dry, sunny, wooded hillsides with a preponderance of young, shrubby oaks are favoured, usually in areas where the soil is of a light, gritty nature. Occurs up to 1500m in Spain, but in Lebanon is restricted to around 1200m (the oak zone). Adults rest by day suspended amongst foliage where they resemble dead leaves. A few may be found on tree trunks, especially Quercus suber (cork oak), having climbed there after emergence. It is here that mated females can sometimes be discovered, having parted from the male before dawn. As neither sex feeds in the adult stage, flowers have no attraction, although both sexes come to light.”

Many thanks for that ID – absolutely spot on.
Garth Nicholson

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large moth with undeveloped wings
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
May 30, 2017 10:27 pm
I was walking today and saw an English sparrow trying to carry off a very large bug.
Its body was about the size of my thumb in length and possibly slightly larger in girth (I have average sized female type thumbs).
At first I thought the wings were damaged, possibly by the sparrow, but upon closer examination it was clear that the wings were intact, just very very small.
Is this a moth that did not properly metamorphosize? It did move in a caterpillary kind of way when I moved it off the pavement.
Maybe some kind of Polyphemus?
Signature: Elaine Shandro

Newly Eclosed Sphinx Moth

Dear Elaine,
This is NOT a Polyphemus Moth, but it is a newly eclosed Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae.  When Moths and Butterflies emerge from the pupal stage, their wings are not yet fully expanded and they cannot fly.  Within a few hours of emergence, the wings will expand and harden and the insect is able to fly.  Since your Sphinx Moth had recently emerged from the final stage of metamorphosis, its wings appear undeveloped.  At this stage, they are especially vulnerable as they are unable to flee from predators.  We believe your Sphinx Moth may be a Waved Sphinx, which is pictured on Sphingidae of the Americas.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination